Last mile delivery firms shift to smartphone-based technology to help address driver shortages across North America
Smartphones with mobile applications are utilised in the last mile for a variety of tasks including proof of delivery, ID verification, search and find and more. By far the most frequently cited reason for switching to a smartphone-based solution is to improve the user experience (85%), indicating that employee satisfaction is a key priority for companies looking to attract and retain employees. This is followed by a desire to leverage the functionality and flexibility of smartphones to consolidate multiple devices into one (54%).
Pat Nolan, Senior Research Analyst at VDC Research, who conducted the North American research on behalf of Scandit, commented: “The labor dynamics for the transportation and logistics sector have been especially strained by the increased pressures and demand caused by both COVID-19 and the growth in popularity of e-commerce and omnichannel fulfilment models. This means last mile organizations are competing for a tighter labor pool that they must win over with, among other things, effective mobile tools that enable them to do their jobs more productively and smoothly.”
For those businesses that have already moved to smartphones in North America, 73% have realized the benefits they expected. The primary motivations to move to smartphone-based solutions for those that are still using dedicated devices are to take advantage of the ability to add new features and capabilities (100%), followed by a desire to replace end-of-life hardware (75%). Providing a single, modern device (50%) to complete multiple tasks also ranks as a commonly cited motivation for transitioning which links back to investing in technology that attracts and retains drivers in a competitive labor market.
Samuel Mueller, CEO of Scandit, said: “Many North American businesses are currently focused on adjusting to the pressures of managing the impact of COVID-19, and in particular, the human capacity element needed to serve customers in a highly competitive and limited labor pool.”
“The pandemic has made the need to be able to scale up delivery capacity and put more drivers on the road to meet the increased volume even more acute. With an intuitive, computer vision enabled-app that can be quickly downloaded onto a smartphone, drivers benefit from having a range of features at their fingertips that allow them to manage their workflow more comfortably all from one device. Getting it right the first time for the end customer also helps avoid the additional costs and inefficiencies involved in making multiple delivery attempts.”
“As we move beyond the pandemic, e-commerce is likely to stay a dominant feature of last mile delivery. The technology investment decisions that companies make now will give them a decisive advantage over the competition in being able to seamlessly onboard new recruits, scale and adapt quickly to peaks in demand.”
The full report can be found here.
Notes to Editors
118 key stakeholders from postal, parcel and logistics enterprises based in 23 countries across North America and Europe were interviewed for this research by independent agencies via an online survey or telephone. Respondents included stakeholders from 7/10 largest courier businesses worldwide. Research was conducted by ITTS in Europe and VDC Research in North America.
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CONTACT: Kathryn Barnes, [email protected]